Game invented by Chatteris-based counsellor aims at helping young people's mental well-being
A Fenland counsellor who specialises in helping children and young people with mental health issues has created a new game aimed at schools.
Marc James, who runs his own counselling practice in Chatteris, has many years of experience supporting young people in schools with mental health difficulties, and has also worked with the Ormiston Trust to help children who have been victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence.
Now he has turned game inventor, having created ‘Therapy In A Box’, a specialist game he hopes schools will snap up to help pupils with their mental well-being.
Marc explained: “I have many years experience supporting young people in schools and have been running my own counselling practice for over three years in Chatteris. I have bought many games to help my work with children and young people. But none of them were really ever right.
“There are very few on the market and they are mostly available in America, which makes them expensive to buy and get shipped. I have found that children find it easier to open up if they are relaxed. Playing a game is fun and helps them to relax, even a simple game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ can help.
“But even though the games from America were expensive they were not really delivering what I wanted, which is when I decided to come up with something myself.
“I have been developing ‘Therapy In A Box’ for about six months – it has been a bit trial and error – but it is now finished and I have been working with David J Richards Printers in Chatteris to get it printed and ready to sell. They have been absolutely fantastic.
“It is really aimed at schools and is a problem solving game. Problem solving boosts self-confidence and that improves mental well-being. Therapy is about talking, and trying to work things out, and the game encourages them to ask questions about issues that are affecting them and come up with ways to deal with them – it is about coping better.
“Even if they don’t open up and don’t want to talk the problem solving itself is really beneficial because it builds their self-esteem and shows them they can achieve things for themselves.”
Marc, who is married to Becky, had a useful Guinea pig while he was working on the game, his daughter Melody, 11.
Marc said: “She enjoyed playing, the game is aimed at seven to 17-year-olds, so she was the ideal age to try it out.”
At £44.95 the game is a lot cheaper than those currently on the market and Marc hopes that the first 20 will fly off the shelves to local schools. Ten per cent of proceeds will go to Embrace, a charity that helps child victims of crime.
The game is available from Marc by emailing: email@example.com
More by this authorSarah Cliss